Bush AG John Ashcroft Says Criminal Trials for Terrorists Are 'Useful'

Red Alert! Red (state) Alert! Ashcroft’s off the range! Should we shoot him, or just force him to apologize and retract?

That’s gotta suck for the conservative message-meisters about how Obama’s dangerous treatment of would-be terrorists captured as the criminal thugs they are is dangerous for the country. Sam Stein at the Huffington Post catches Ashcroft admitting the blindingly obvious (which his own DoJ pursued vigorously): that handling many terrorism suspects through the civilian courts system is entirely appropriate:

Asked specifically about holding civilian trials for terrorists, he said such a venue “has use and utility.”

When asked how to distinguish whether to use a military tribunal system or criminal courts for terrorist suspects, Ashcroft said: “It depends on the circumstances.”

“Our priority should be a priority of preventing further terrorist attacks and to automatically allocate people from one system to another without understanding what best achieves that priority would in my judgment be less than optimal,” he said.

Countdown to Ascroft’s on-air apology to Rush Limbaugh (or possibly just Ashcroft’s public flogging at the closing ceremonies of CPAC) in 3…2…1